Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Summary ...

Over the past few months we have done many things. We have even had both Grandmas come to visit, its been great! However, with the limited time I have to get on the Internet and the actual time it takes to "get" on the Internet and download pictures, I have fallen way behind on my blog updates. It was a good idea in theory.
I decided to send a summary of what has been going on to catch everyone up. Hopefully now that we have returned back to Kenya, I can catch everyone up and start a new blog! Hopefully I will be able to send weekly or at least monthly updates.


Gam Gam came to visit for Christmas for a month, Nonne came to visit at the end of January for 3 and a half weeks, Tom celebrated his 35th Birthday January 27th and Piper turned 4 Feb 25th. We took many safari trips with Nonne and Gam Gam. We visited Lake Nakuru National Park, Lake Naivasha, The Elephant Orphanage where Nonne adopted an Elephant! and Nairobi National Park where we actually got to see some lions for the first time (although VERY, very far away). We also went to the infamous Kenyan Derby (although I was the only one of about 4 people with a derby style"big" hat). Tom and I also went to Hells Gate National park and hiked in a gorge! We took a beautiful first family vacation to Mombasa on the coast of Kenya at the end of April. Last but not least, we celebrated a very wonderful four year anniversary on April 22nd!

Thanks for four amazing years sweetheart!! I love you so very much!

We have so much more going and so many more visitors to come in only a few months.
We cant wait!

Also, if you haven't already signed up for updates, please sign up! When you receive an email you will get the name of the blog in the top left corner, "The Summary". It is highlighted in blue. If you click on that, you can go straight to the blog instead of reading it on your email. I would rather you do this as my last email was sent at 2 am and with many grammatical errors. I corrected everything but no one was able to see it. This is of course for my personal satisfaction but just in case you didn't know. :)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A wonderful R&R Trip to Atlanta...

... and now we are back in Nairobi, Kenya.

It was an incredible six weeks back in the US for all of us. Tom was really here around 4 weeks with the family, plus his one week in DC. But the kids and I had a full six weeks going from house to house and grandparent to grandparent and luckily even seeing a sister and a brother and even some good friends here and there. It was a whirlwind, but it was still so wonderful.

Although an R&R (in state department terms) stands for Rest and Relaxation, I think we all know that it is anything but that. I have not quite figured out the term I would like to call it, but it certainly has nothing to do with any sort of tranquility or relaxation, not with our big family! Ha I am convinced the only way to get any type of R&R (for anyone, including us) is to escape to a deserted island for a week, but we all know that is not going to happen anytime soon for most of us. Ha Ha.

I hope all of our family knows that we love you more than anything and we enjoyed seeing each and every one of the fullest! Every day was jammed pack with activities. And I am sure just as we are exhausted, we know you are too!! Thanks for all your efforts in making our trip as easy as possible and all of your patience and understanding.
The worst part of this life is not being with our family and friends, of course! But right now, we really do love it. We enjoy the traveling, we enjoy the new cities and countries and even continents we get to visit and we love being able to share it all with you when we come home. But most importantly we love coming HOME!

Although very hectic, especially with a one year old and a three year old, it is still so wonderful to see all of you! And it is amazing to hear YOUR stories as well. We have had a rough time with Internet and phone usage this past year. And not getting to talk to any of you has been absolutely horribly for us. Getting on the Internet is beyond slow, imagine slower than dial up?? It is horrible. I can barely download pictures and if I do, it is costly and very timely. And the phone is another story. We do not have a house phone as the cables in Africa are very expensive. So once the phone companies bury the cables, people dig them up and steal them. So, this means we have cell phones. If we had a land line we could get some decent rates on phone calls, but since it is a cell, we can not get any good rates (in Kenya). I know, I know...its all relative ( literally- ha). I can promise you however is that I will try to update this blog more often and keep all of you more informed. If your lucky, I may even update facebook every now and then too, but you can go ahead and forget about that Twitter thing. Who has time for all this stuff?

Again, family and friends, know that we love you all and miss you more than you will ever know. Also family and friends know that if we did not get a chance to see you this past month, it was not because we did not want to or that we do not love is just that we are so crazy when we are home! We have 5 sets of parents living in Atlanta as well as brothers and sisters. It is all a lot and believe me, I wonder how we see anyone or do anything at all sometimes. However, some how we manage.

Oddly enough in six weeks; I did manage to see one movie, take the kids to the Georgia Aquarium, take a week vacation in Charleston, visit Elmo in concert in Macon (an hour and a half from Atlanta)!!, go to a few nice dinners, take one trip to the mall and many to Target, see Coldplay in concert!!!, eat at every fast food restaurant known to man (note obvious weight gain), enjoy a nice day alone with my husband, hike up Stone Mountain, celebrate 4 birthdays (one being my Dads 60th, my son's 1st, Tom's grandfather's 90th! as well as Tom's Mom and my step Dad, Luay- Wow!!), went through 2 ear infections with Chase and yet still managed to see 5 grandfathers, 2 grandmothers, 2 great grandfathers, 2 Aunts, 1 uncle, 2 sisters, 1 brother, and also a few very old and dear friends from Elementary School, high school and even college.

... I still DID NOT manage however to get a pedicure, get my hair cut and colored (note hair back in pony tail in ALL pictures), get my eyebrows waxed, make more than a 30 minute trip to the mall or go to Dairy Queen and get a dipped cone (its the small things). And unfortunately I did not even get to call not one of my many very wonderful friends who called and left me messages. I am so so sorry to you all and hope you will forgive me! :(

It was a long 21 hour trip back but luckily I had Tom's help this time, which made it a lot more enjoyable and a lot easier. The jet lag however has been rough and I must say it is a lot easier going to the U.S.!! (Note to all those coming to visit us soon!) Prepare for the jet lag!! After one whole week of being back, we are still adjusting. The kids have yet to of slept through the night (which is not abnormal for Chase), but they are up for hours at a time. I even had Hannah watching Legally Blonde as I could not take any more cartoons at 2 am. And she actually enjoyed the "Barbie" movie, as she called it. What else is a girl to do??

And last but not least and unfortunately to our parents dismay, Chase has finally started walking in less than a week of arriving back in Kenya. After one day of trying to walk only 6 steps, then 8 steps, then 10. He now walks all the way across the room, after only one day!!! I know all of you were hoping he would walk while we were home and I am sorry you missed it. :(

We miss you all already. More to come soon...

Happy 60th Birthday Dad!

So glad we could celebrate such a big day with you! Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. :) Love you!