Wednesday Write-Up: Memories Part 2

On Monday I started a week-long series sharing my favorite pictures from our travels in preparation for the new year. Mondays post encompassed our time traveling in the States, Curacao, Portugal, Disneyland Paris, and Budapest, Hungary. Today my post will … Continue reading

Wednesday Write-Up: Survey

We are heading back to Bangkok for a couple of days. We are going to do some shopping and hang out, and tomorrow night I pick up my mom from the airport! I am so excited I can barely stand it. This means a couple of things, 1) I will not have my laptop with me in Bangkok, hence the short post today, and 2) there will be posts of some fun and interesting things to do and see in Thailand as we will be taking my mom (and you as well) to see all that Hua Hin (and other parts of Thailand) has to offer.

Since I am writing this quickly (I still haven’t packed for our excursion today, oops), I figured I would survey you about what you would like to see on our blog. Here are my questions for you:

Would you like to see specific things in the pictures on my Monday Montage or should I do some theme days?

What kind of activities in Thailand would you like to read about here?

Do you have any suggestions on what would make my posts more exciting or interesting to you?

I am leaving the rest of this post up to you, my lovely friends and readers. I look forward to your replies!

Wednesday Write-Up: Playing Catch Up

Today I am writing two posts. I know it is insane (seriously, don’t try this at home), but I have been given a day to catch up with you all and I am taking it!

It has truly been some stressful and trying few weeks and I am happy to announce that Zoë and I are both on the mend and doing well. (You can read the full details about what happened to me here, and to Zoë here, if you haven’t already)

Zoë has been fever free since Saturday and my tailbone is just a bit sore still. Huzzah!!!

Honestly though, I don’t even care about my tailbone, I could be walking around on an un-casted broken leg and not notice. I am just incredibly thankful that Z is healed and seems unaffected by her seizure.

Life has pretty much resumed to normal, except that we are on an island called Taiwan and are on a long-term trip through the world! Chad and I are able to now start planning what to do next and where to go. There is such excitement in finding a place to visit that looks perfect. I think we may have found that in Thailand! We are planning on checking it out this month (more details to come on that).

We also have decided to really start using our time here in Taiwan wisely and seeing and doing all that we can before we leave here in October or November. This past few weeks has prompted us to move again if anything else. And that just goes to show you, that there are silver linings and all that cliché crap wisdom.

I will fill you all in as our plans seem more set, but until then, I am off to write my second post today. Make sure to read it!

P.S. Thank you again for all your prayers and good thoughts for Z and I! 

Wednesday Write-Up: A Quick Note

We landed in Taipei, Taiwan last night and I am feeling like I am home again. Getting here was rough (more on that in my Friday post), but we are here safe and sound. It feels so good to be here. We are currently staying with some very generous and hospitable friends for the next couple of days and we are about to head out to a night market for dinner with them (I can hardly contain my excitement… a NIGHT MARKET! Street Food… YAY!). Hence the reason that this post today is so short.  More on Friday… xoxoxo

Wednesday Write-Up: A Visitor! Opa!

After we left Athens, we took a four hour ferry ride to the island of Paros in the Cyclades. We are now settled in a wonderful little apartment just a 5 minute walk from the beach! We found our apartment on airbnb.com and have fallen in love with it. It is called Betty Apartments, and Betty has been an amazing hostess. For one thing, she does our laundry! She also cleans our room everyday! It has been a real vacation so far for us. We have had very busy days consisting of brunch, nap-time (for Zoë, although there have been times I wished it was mine), time at the beach, dinner and then some relaxation after Zoë’s asleep. Chad works in the mornings and while Zoë naps and I do my writing or cleaning then too. This life is amazing! This trip is amazing, and I feel so very blessed to be here. God is good!

Zoë hanging out on our back porch

Zoë hanging out on our back porch

Chad and Zoë walking back to our apartment

Chad and Zoë walking back to our apartment

We have been on the island now for 10 days. And as of two days ago, we now have a friend from Sonoma County staying with us! (We have tried harassing everyone to come and see us, but with the price of plane tickets these days…whew). Our friend, Nathan, has been traveling himself for the past half year or so. He was planning on being in Greece the same time as us, so, here he is! It has been so nice to see a familiar face thats not pixelated on skype or facetime. Both Chad and I have enjoyed having someone new to converse with, and hearing about his travels and what God is doing in his life. Hopefully, he is just as happy to be here as we are to have him here!

As it is whenever one has visitors, whether you are in your home or traveling, there are hiccoughs along the way, but the stories you will tell later about your time together will be even better because of them. For example, Zoë being over-tired at dinner last night and pushing her glass of water over so that Nathan had to make a quick dodge before getting deluged… well, that will be funny in the future right? And Chad getting the flu today and being bed-bound and unable to keep anything down except cola… we will laugh about that someday too.

God has impeccable timing for teaching us things that we didn’t realize that we needed to learn, and what I have learned in the past two days, is that I need to stop sweating the small things (I cringe at being so cliché…I’m sorry).

I need to see God blessing me with patience when Zoë screams as if I am water boarding her every time I have to wash her hair (we use tearless shampoo, the water’s a good temperature, I have tried every trick, she just hates washing her hair). I need to see that God is blessing me with a merciful attitude, when she accidentally punches me in the face while having a public melt-down. I need to see that everything around me, God has blessed to me. He has given me this opportunity to see the WORLD! I need to stop worrying about the small, insignificant things that will be forgotten or laughed at later and try laughing at them or forgetting them now.

How hard that is. When I have it down perfectly, I will let you all know. Until then, I will just keep trying and keep praying. God is good.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

Wednesday Write-Up: So the Days Float Through My Eyes

Well, here it’s Wednesday again, and we are leaving for another country tomorrow. The last 8 days felt slow, but went so fast. I am just starting to acclimate and love the amazing city of Budapest, Hungary.

It is interesting that none of us three had been affected by the time changes very much or culture changes either for that matter until we arrived here. We had very few issues in Lisbon, a bit more in Disneyland Paris, and many more here in Budapest it felt like. It felt like a daunting task to be here and now I am sad to leave as it feels as though I have just let the realness of the city in.

There were a couple of reasons that it was hard to get used to being here. The first was the jet lag. For some reason, all of a sudden, the time changes caught up with all of us and the hour difference in time from Lisbon, set us back a couple of days. All three of us struggled with exhaustion, crankiness and headaches the first three days we were here. It was really a bummer, we thought that our mutant powers made us invincible to jet lag.

Secondly, it was the language. Hungarian is…well…a really foreign language. There is no connection to any other words that I know unless they are words that we all have transferred from another culture, such as buffet or manicure. But it took me this whole week just to master saying köszönöm, which means thank you. Its a tough language to understand and speak, I wish I had had more time to practice.

Third, the food here was just okay. We did find some great restaurants, such as a bavarian place, a vegan place, and a buffet that were really good. But these were all not really hungarian places and I am not much of a soup person so I didn’t even venture to try the Hungarian Goulash (I know…shame on me). I will write more in my Friday post about the wonderful restaurants that we did find and love.

Fourth, and last, the prices here are much higher than we expected. Mind you we have been blinded by the wonderful cost of living in Portugal, so it is probably not as bad as say, Paris or London, but it was a bit more expensive for the things we love than we had planned. For example, in Lisbon I paid 20 Euros for an exciting new haircut and here I just had to pay 32 Euros for a trim. (I chopped off all my hair and now sport a pixie cut..who would have thought I could have pulled it off?! But I love it!). Also the food costs her are significantly more than I am used to, about 30-40 euros a meal. It really isn’t that bad, I know, but my stupid expectations get me every time.

My New Haircut and Zoë on the Chain Bridge in Budapest

My New Haircut and Zoë on the Chain Bridge in Budapest

Now, after I have said all these things, I want to tell you that I love Budapest, I love the architecture, the weather has actually been sunny for 4 out of 8 days we have been here, and the people are very helpful and friendly. I want to come back and experience some more. Until next time Budapest… viszontlátásra (good-bye)!

Wednesday Write-Up: Who Needs a Night Life?

This past week Chad, Zoë and I have been doing a little traveling to other parts of Portugal. We visited Porto, in the north, for a couple of days and just got back today from a trip to Lagos in the south. I plan on writing more about these two vastly different cities on Friday in my travel post, so subscribe so you can read all about it.

We got back to Lisbon today to a huge city wide party. Tonight is the Saint Anthony Festival, which starts in the early evening and continues all night. And it is going on in every neighborhood, currently the song “What a Feeling” is playing loud enough on the street below that we can hear it perfectly in our fifth floor apartment.  People are laughing, talking, singing along to the music. It sounds like a really fun night.

I have to say I am a little jealous. I am incredibly blessed that my amazing daughter is in bed and, pardon the cliche, is sleeping like a baby through all the noise. I will not jinx myself and say that I wish she would stay awake later…heck no, I would never wish that…I enjoy my evenings while she is asleep. Sometimes though I do miss being able to go out on the town after dark. Especially when it is right outside my front door.

I sit here and think how I wish I could go outside with everyone else, and then I realize how much more I have seen of the places we have been because I do not go out late at night. Not only that, but it also helps to be woken at 6:30 or 7 am everyday so i get the most time possible to partake in real life in the cities we have visited.  A special thanks to Zoë for being my little human alarm clock.

This journey is completely different from Chad and I’s pre-baby travels, and for the better I think. Zoë has made every part of this adventure acutely more special and fulfilling. I not only get to experience different and wonderful cultures, but I get to see how they enthrall and excite Zoë. It is a better feeling than I can even describe.

So I willingly give up my night life (despite being a tiny bit envious), because living on the road with my toddler, is the most exciting and worthwhile venture I could ever undertake. Being a mom is rad, that is all I can say.

I am off to bed early…Good night all!

Wednesday Write-Up: The Small Things

It is the small things that change my day, either negatively (like my day last Wednesday…please try not to judge me harshly for my whining) or positively.

Today was a day where the small things have affected me positively. It has been an absolutely wonderful day! Thank you God!

We haven’t really done any touristy type things so far this week, Zoë and I have been playing around while Chad has tried to get all of his work accomplished before we head to Porto tomorrow for two days. I am very excited to see a new part of Portugal! This week has pretty much been a normal week, except today was amazing!

It may seem insignificant to some of you, but yesterday I finally found a salon where they have a waxer! The only kind of hair removal I had found here so far was laser hair removal (scary!), Nair, and a good old fashioned razor. Sorry, but none of these are for me, I need some beeswax and a couple of fabric strips to get rid of my unwanted hair.

So, back to the salon…Not only did the receptionist speak decent english (thank goodness, as my portuguese is still sub-par to say the least), but it’s literally two blocks from our apartment. I immediately made an appointment for myself to get the god-awful excess hair removed from my body. I have not been waxed since we were in Curacao over a month ago. For those of you that know me, you know that I am not really that hairy of a lady. I honestly do not have to shave my legs more than once every month or so (I really do realize how blessed I am by this). But my eyebrows and underarms…that is a whole other story. After letting my underarm hair grow for over a month, let me just say, I looked like I should have been at Woodstock. I finally caved and shaved them. It was a sad day for me, but it really had to be done, I could’t wait any longer and wasn’t willing to try the laser on such a sensitive area of my body.

I am now a hairless and happy woman! The esthetician was professional, personable and proficient in her work. It was so nice to be pampered for an hour today. I left feeling like I was walking on air, although that could have been the 10 pounds of hair I left behind.

Another thing that made this day wonderful, was that Zoë did not throw one tantrum all day, actually listened to my instructions, and we had a great time playing all day long! It was eye-opening to me how much her moods affects mine and vice versa. I guess I should get used to that fact, two females living together can cause some serious turmoil…poor Chad. Now I know how my parents felt, well just slightly…they had three girls and a boy…there were about 10 years there that someone was going through puberty in that house. That, to me, sounds like hell on earth…props to you Mom and Dad!

Chad and I have made some plans to leave Lisbon, we have booked and completely planned our next two destinations, which is very exciting to me. It is bittersweet though, I really love Lisbon. If Thailand doesn’t work out for us, I already told Chad I think we should consider coming back to Lisbon to stay.

The next two destinations are so different from where we expected to go, but God has other plans for us obviously. And I love that we are blessed to be able to do all this. Life is good. God is good. Now I just need to make sure my attitude stays good. Thanks for staying with me through the good and bad times my friends!

Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. James 5:13