Saturday, 31 March 2012

Project 365 - DAY 91

March 31, 2012
I love to watch Lucy and Owen getting reacquainted with Larry. They both love him!

Friday, 30 March 2012

Project 365 - DAY 90

March 30, 2012
I just can't pass up a chance to capture Lucy with her Dada. I just love these pictures.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Project 365 - DAY 89

March 29, 2012
Got to capture Lucy chillin on the stairs with her apple after her nap. Always sporting one sock after her naps....I guess only her one foot gets hot.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Project 365 - DAY 88

March 28, 2012
Owen got a new truck from CiCi and Pappy. Good thing CiCi likes to hit up the yard sales! This one is really old school.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Project 365 - DAY 87

March 27, 2012
I couldn't believe it looking at my gallery wall when we got home. These babies are so big now and I really need to add more pictures!

Monday, 26 March 2012

Project 365 - DAY 86

March 26, 2012
We took Owen to an Egg Hunt last Saturday.  He threw a couple of tantrums and wanted to we left. We will try another Egg Hunt in a week or so...see if that one goes better. He really liked sitting on the Easter Bunny's lap though!

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Project 365 - DAY 85

March 25, 2012
If this picture does not scream AMERICA I don't know what does. A big fat SUV sitting in the Costco parking lot. I feel as if I have earned the right to drive this thing now...I banked a lot of "green" points in this past year with no car.  (We really stocked is good to be home)

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Project 365 - DAY 84

March 24, 2012
We really missed this face. How could you not love him :)

Friday, 23 March 2012

Project 365 - DAY 83

March 23, 2012
I really missed our spring/summer evening wagon rides. Everyone in PJ's suffering from jet lag!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Project 365 - DAY 82

March 22, 2012
I am so excited I made it home just in time for the spring blooming of my favorite tree just in front of our driveway!

View from my bedroom window.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Project 365 - DAY 81

March 21, 2012
I forgot to post this image of foggy London town....snapped this one just before we left.

Headed Home...

The trip home went fairly smoothly and the kids both did really well for a 2.5 and a 1 year old. They even slept for half of the 7.5 hours. Drew and I got to watch a couple of movies and actually eat our dinner!

Lucy and Owen waiting for the bags to be loaded.

Owen fell asleep as soon as he got in his seat on the airplane.

Lucy was a bit out of sorts and needed some cuddling after she woke up.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Project 365 - DAY 80

March 20, 2012
Lucy rocking her business class seat!  Don't get used to this Lucy!!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Reflection on a Year in London

Well today is the day. We are headed home to the United States of America.  I am feeling excited to get home to friends and family (and most of all Larry!), nostalgic about what we have done and how we have grown as a family, and somewhat sad about leaving our new life we have built abroad. This year has given me confidence I would've never known I had and a new appreciation for my little family and all we can accomplish!  We can do anything!

We have truly built a new "life" here in London and it is a completely different life than we lead in the states. It is a life full of travel, diversity and new experiences that I will forever be grateful for. It is a life where your new friends become your family and there is a closeness there that develops when you are all living so far from your blood relatives. We will truly miss all of our new "family." There is also one person in particular who we will miss terribly.....Lauren.

LAUREN - you came to us at a time when I was feeling lost with no support of family nearby and you stepped in and turned out to be one of the best decisions we ever made. I feel so fortunate to have had you with us this past year, and you may never know how much you have meant to me in particular. I couldn't have done this without you. Lucy and Owen will miss you have a special place in their hearts and in mine. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU.

LONDON - you will now always be very special to us. I will think of you fondly and remember all the intangible gifts you have given us as a family. We will miss you...even your bad TV, which forced us to read so much more and that is not a bad thing. Owen will miss his first school and the new friends he has made. We will all miss the parks and all of the walking...which was very kind to our waistlines and provided us with a sense of community we can't find in suburbia where everyone is confined to their cars. Drew and I will miss the pubs, for some reason beer just tastes better in a British pub.  However, I will not miss your washer and dryer, refrigerator, freezer....[insert any appliance here] and your very small elevators!

There are so many things that happened over this past year while living abroad. My babies grew a year older, Lucy is a little girl now (16 months) and Owen a little man who talks (almost 3 years old). A year ago Owen didn't speak and Lucy was barely sleeping through the night.

Owen when we arrived at 23 months.
Lucy when we arrived at 5 months, (our little butterball).

....and here they are's been a year of growth!

Now Lucy is walking, talking and practically going on the potty and Owen is talking in sentences and going to school. This has been a big year for this little family and it makes me wonder if these two little ones will remember their first home when we return to PA. Owen may remember our home and Larry but I wonder, will Lucy be confused as to where we are moving and who this big black dog is? We may never know.

I found this quote the other day that sounded perfect for this stage of our life and this particular adventure.

"The days are long, but the years are short."  So true.

But this one is for sure...."Home is where the heart is"....

Project 365 - DAY 79

March 19, 2012 is the day. Bye Bye've been good to us.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Project 365 - DAY 78

March 18, 2012
The kids decided to "help" me do some packing. Sorry for the no pants on Owen again...still working on potty training. Lucy loved checking out her old carseat, she spent a half hour climbing in a out of it. It's a good thing I have such great little "helpers"...makes this packing thing a snap :)


Since we are living in city with a plethora of amazing restaurants Drew and I have decided to try and go out to dinner alone (no kids) at least once every weekend.  We alternate weekends and each of us chooses the restaurant every other week.  We have been to some great places so far.  Just to mention a few if you are ever traveling to London.

Lemonia (Greek in Primrose Hill, good food, always crowded)
Racine (great french restaurant...fabulous oysters! located in Knightsbridge near Harrods)
The Natural Kitchen (great for breakfast!, all organic very good)
The Engineer (excellent food in great Primrose Hill area!, highly recommend)
Galvin Bistrot de Luxe (great french food, wonderful escargot)
The Wells (great pub, good food nice atmosphere)
The Greenhouse Restaurant ($$$$$$$$$$$....enough said)
JW Steakhouse (our favorite steakhouse thus far....I am sure we will be to more before the year is up)
York and Albany (Gordon Ramsay restaurant)
The Old White Bear (good food, cool area in hampstead)
The Duke of York Pub (one of our favorite local pubs!)
Bentley's (Great seafood)
The Salt House (great food, great atmosphere...right on Abbey Road)
Black and Blue (not recommended)

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Ladies Night!

The friends we have made here have been so wonderful and have become such an important part of our expat "family." The ladies took me out the other night for a really nice going away dinner. Good times.

Project 365 - DAY 77

March 17, 2012
I bought one last bunch of flowers to brighten up the flat...amidst the packing. These are the best bunch yet...they smell amazing! Bring on spring!

Friday, 16 March 2012

Project 365 - DAY 76

March 16, 2012
Here is usually what my afternoons look like....working on some editing with my favorite cup of tea.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Project 365 - DAY 75

March 15, 2012
It has been a year and we have made London our home. I thought it would be nice to finally put up a "flat" or apartment tour so we can remember our London home and someday show the kids. As you can see, we didn't do much in terms of decorating...and Owen's room looks particularly bare. When you are only living somewhere for a year it is hard to put the effort and money into hanging art....but it was home  and we loved it :)

Entry into living area and these double doors! They came with a key and it was a permanent baby gate to close the living area off from the sleeping area!
Kitchen and living area.

Master Suite....see the hidden closet door into the master bath.

Master Bath

Lucy's room/guest room.

 someone snuck into this pic....

Hall bath

Owen's room
There was an additional bathroom off of Lucy's room...but we kept that door locked due to the fact that Owen liked to play in the shower and we never used it anyway :)