Tag Archives: family

Baby Showers and Getting Back to the Blog


I bet you all thought I’d forgotten about this blog, didn’t you?

Well, sorry.

No such luck.

I’ve been meaning to post some pictures for ages but what with months of horrible morning sickness and life with a two year old, I’ve been a bit distracted.

In fact, I think the last time I actually posted something on here was way back in February.

Five months ago.

And now that I am six months pregnant with Josh’s little brother, it’s probably time I should get back to it. I’m sure all the family will like some photos of the new little man once he decides to make his arrival.

We just got back from a trip to California, which was amazing as always.

While we were there, my mom and aunt threw a baby shower for me, which was so lovely.

It was just perfect; lunch out overlooking the ocean, fun games and close family. So relaxed and enjoyable. I can’t thank them enough. And of course it means so much to me that this baby will have some new clothes and more importantly, photos for his baby book!

Here are just a few of the pictures from the shower.

Thank you all so much for coming out and for planning all of this. This baby sure is one lucky guy to have such an awesome group of women in his life!








A Pretty Good Day


Last week was half term here in England, which means schools were out and London was very crowded.

Most of the museums have special events on during half term for all the little ones. We decided to go to the National Gallery, which had on an Imaginary Worlds Family Festival.


The last time we came to the National Gallery with Josh was about a year ago and was clearly not a great place to bring a one year old.

But now that he’s a bit older he seemed to enjoy it, and I especially loved looking at paintings with him and listening to him tell me about what he thought was happening in them.

My personal favourite was when upon seeing Seurat’s Bathers at Asnieres, Josh was very concerned that the boy in the river had lost his dog and was calling out for him, though the dog didn’t seem to look too concerned to me.

We had a great time though looking at the paintings and doing some of the children’s events like listening to a pop up orchestra.

The fun didn’t stop either when we left the gallery, as we even managed to see a somewhat creepy puppet show happening in Trafalgar Square.


And of course we had lunch, which was possibly the highlight of the day when we found a new Mexican place on the Strand.

And dessert.

Dessert was pretty good too.

Yup. It was a pretty good day.


All Aboard


Trains and I, we have a love-hate relationship.

Growing up in California, the land of the car, trains seemed almost otherworldly.

Very glamourous. Very romantic. Very 1940s.

So moving to England and actually riding on trains to commute to work was a big slap in the face. All that scrambling to get a seat. Grumpy passengers. Piles of rubbish all over. The strong scent of urine in the air.

It didn’t exactly live up to expectations.

But now of course, Josh loves trains.

Probably because he doesn’t have to commute on them.

And the family thought it would be fun to take a train ride while we were out in California, from Ventura to Santa Barbara.

And they were right.

It was fun and Josh loved it.

We had to wait a while for the train to actually turn up. I think it was at least a half an hour late. Which meant plenty of time to hang out and play with the family.


And, of course, find some toys with Uncle Terry.

Once we were finally on the train, Josh went crazy, running up and down the aisles telling everyone to “go hide!”

Apparently trains are good places to play hide and seek.


The view was pretty nice too.

A short time later, we were in Santa Barbara.

We went and walked around a bit down by the pier, enjoying all that California December sunshine.


After lunch, we went and wandered up State Street.

We ended up going to see the courthouse there, which is such a beautiful building.




Though Josh was far more interested in his space shuttle than looking at any architecture.


It was such a lovely day.

It probably helps that this was the view from the train on the way back.

I imagine that helps make commuting just that little bit nicer in California.

Even if the train still smells like pee.

Learning to Run


I apologise in advance if this blog post is bragging.

It could have so easily gone the other way though.

Back in August when I turned the big 3-0, I made a birthday promise to myself, mainly promising not to complain as much about living in England.

For the record, I think I have been a lot better, getting out with Josh and exploring the countryside a bit more.

In my birthday promise, I also said I would like to start running more; a promise I easily forgot when the cold weather and rain came.

But thankfully my sister reads the blog and she didn’t forget.

In fact, as a birthday gift, she signed us up for a 5k.

And as much as the thought of running three miles made me feel nauseous, this last weekend we did it.

And you know what?

I felt really good about it.

I think it helps that I had my wonderful sister to run with.

And let’s face it, it’s much nicer to run along the beach in 60 degree weather than in frosty England.

I mean, look at the view.




So thank you Erin for the wonderful gift and making sure I actually followed through on something.

You’re an amazing sister!


Let me know if we’re on for that half marathon next Christmas.

I’ll easily need the whole year to train for that.

A Perfect Sunrise


This last weekend I had a great idea.


We should go watch the sunrise.

It would be perfect.

We would get all bundled up, take a mug of hot chocolate, go hike and see the sunrise.

The weather was even supposed to be perfect too on Sunday.

Crisp and sunny.

Sadly, the weather was just about the only thing that did work out right.

Despite Josh happily being woken at 6 am and bundled into the car, asking “where we going mama?”, the rest of the morning did not quite go as planned.

The drive took a bit longer than we thought and we got there just after the sunrise.

It was still a beautiful view though.

But it was cold.

About 30 degrees cold.

And despite all his layers, Josh wasn’t having any of it.

He cried, refused to walk and screamed “hands not working!” I imagine because they were so cold. Poor kid. He clearly has inherited his mother’s Californian weather sensibilities.

Tim, always one to look on the bright side, suggested going for another hike in the afternoon to see the sunset, which happens over here at about 4pm.

I took a bit more convincing, as usual, but we ended up going on another hike to see the sunset, and I’m so glad we did.

There was beautiful light for photos.

Josh was much happier, rolling around in the grass and being thrown up into the air by Daddy.


We even managed a quick family photo.

And, of course, we saw the sunset.


It turned out to be the perfect plan after all.


A Little Bit of Barcelona in London

20121003-160808.jpgMy family is very close.

Insanely close.

We all grew up living about five minutes from one another and it was amazing.

Imagine how happy I was then, when I found out my cousin would be moving to Barcelona for a year.

And imagine how happy I was this last weekend, when she came to London to visit.
20121003-161004.jpgTurns out Josh was pretty happy too.

It was the best experience, seeing Josh run to her and jump into her outstretched arms for a big hug.

He sure loves his Aunt Laura.

We had so much fun this weekend, showing them around London and taking in some of the sights.


20121003-161516.jpg I told Laura having her here made it almost feel like home…

If only for a weekend.

20121003-161922.jpgCome back and visit soon Laura.

20121003-162237.jpgWe’re missing you already!

A Day For Castles


We have been in Germany for several days now and have headed south to Bavaria.

It really is beautiful here; green forests and fields full of cows.

We even managed to eat some white sausage tonight for dinner, which apparently is a traditional Bavarian dish.


But today was a day for castles.

In the morning, we drove to Schloss Linderhof, the smallest of the three castles built by King Ludwig II.


Using Versailles as it’s inspiration, it was a beautiful palace with lovely grounds to walk around in.

Josh especially enjoyed watching the fountain which would go off periodically.


We went back to the hotel to let Josh rest for a bit.


I do feel bad sometimes, dragging our not even two year old, on these tours. But he has been exceptionally good, either listening or pointing out animals he knows in the paintings, etc.

I don’t think we’ve seen any other children Josh’s age on these tours, though perhaps their parents are a bit more sane than us.

I think it also helps to always have a granola bar handy.

After his nap we made our way to Neuschwanstein Castle.


We weren’t lucky weather wise and they are doing work on the castle so there was scaffolding covering a large portion, but it still was a sight which took your breath away.

It really was beautiful.

I think the most stunning view is from the bridge behind the castle, where I took the above picture from. Not for those who are afraid of heights, but if you can manage it, it was definitely worth it.

My knowledge of the castle is similar to what I imagine every Californian’s is: the castle they based the one at Disneyland on.

And at times while I felt like I could have been at Disneyland, for example the crowds and huge mark-ups on pretzels,


I am so glad I was able to see the real thing.

I think Josh enjoyed himself too.

I love this photo of him staring up at how tall the castle is.


He had been such a good boy, we just couldn’t resist getting him a little souvenir from the castle; a swan.