Friday, December 19, 2014

One Year On

The Friday before Thanksgiving our family celebrated one year in London.  Acknowledgment of the milestone occurred only after friends asked when it was that we moved to London.  Matt and I looked at each other and made the realization that it was that very day we left The 407 for The Manor.  We attributed almost forgetting the anniversary to having made a comfortable and settled life in our little London borough.  

That's not to say a lot did not happen in the previous 365 days:

First off, we left our life in America - family, friends, jobs and locations that are very special to us.  Sadly, we experienced the passing of family members on both sides of our family, and we are still not over the pain of the losses.  The upcoming holidays will be another opportunity for the family to heal together.  

Our kids love, love, love school.  The kids have an impressive menu of extra curricular opportunities during and after the school day.  Oldest Kiddo had chess, French, and clarinet lessons during the day.  Both kids had the choice of football (British for soccer), basketball, martial arts, street dance, net ball, French & Spanish lessons, and gymnastics to name just a few.  We've put in Oldest Kiddo's application for secondary school <sniff, sniff>.  We will find out in March if she got a place in our first choice school.  

Youngest Kiddo can't get enough football.  He turns every gosh darn thing he can into a football.  Pillows, stuffed animals, and clothes for the laundry bin are all fair game for a fast dribbling drill.  

Both kids have an accent!  Oldest Kiddo speaks with a full British accent at school and with her friends.  She switches back to 'Merican when she gets home.  We laughed when an adult at school learned that she had not lived in England her whole life as her accent is spot on.  Someone even called it a posh accent.  Youngest Kiddo comes by it unknowingly.  He is around kids that speak with it all day so it's no surprise that I'm sometimes referred to as Mummy.  

We  actually spend more time together as a family and a couple.  Matt and I usually have lunch once a week, and his travel has decreased significantly.  In the last year he's been away from home overnight for about 10 nights.  Back in America it felt like he was only home ten days a month!
The family in Lisbon & Amsterdam

Speaking of family togetherness, our expat family traveled quite a bit as well!  Matt and I had the chance to go to Munich and Stockholm during my mom's visits.  The four of us spent time in Amsterdam, Lisbon, and Barcelona.  I've been to Paris twice in the last two months - once with my mom and a second time with two friends from school.  

Of course, we learned more and more about the great city in which we live.  I swear that the kids could actually navigate the Underground on their own.  Don't worry family, that's not going to happen.  However, if you ask them how to get somewhere like Trafalgar Square or The London Eye, I am sure they could tell you the best route to take.  

Same location, different year.  Both kids look older and Matt and I look younger :)

Stay tuned for more expat adventures in 2015!

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