Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Leaving tomorrow....

Hey everyone! Im all packed and ready to go to Edinburgh!!! Im exhausted, and worn out and ready for a little holiday. But I dont know how much I wil be enjoying the freezing cold of Scotland... its cold enough here in Belfast for me... and now Im going somewhere colder!!! Insane I know. Ive packed loads of socks and warm sweaters and shirts.... but I dont think I will be warm enough. I havent been warm at all since I left California. I miss the sunshine. :O) I am also at the half way mark of my time here in Belfast and I have had a great time so far. Met lots of cool nice people and had alot of fun times. But now I am going to sleep. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Years! Ill see you all in 2010. Infinate X's and O's.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snow in Belfast

Hey everyone... its 3 am here in Belfast and its snowing outside!!! I was watching a movie after going out tonight with friends and I looked up at my window and its covered in snow. My room is in the attic so my window is on the roof and so I knew this show was sticking. It came down a little bit Thursday night but it all melted before hitting the group. I think I was told that we were supposed to get 4-6 inches this weekend, so maybe it wont stop snowing and there will still be white and frosty when I wake up tomorrow. :o) I have a couple 230 am snow pictures for you all before I go, but it is time for me to sleep. Ive stayed up way past my bed time and now its time for me to say goodbye. Merry Christmas and Happy New Years! Love you & miss everyone back home. XOXO

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

7 days til Christmas in Scotland

Hiya everyone... I only have a week left until I leave for Scotland for 10 days... I have tons to do and little time to do it. Im babysitting tonight and friday or sunday night... I will find out soon, and I still need to get out and buy Sam his present. Ive already taken care of Niamh and Max's and those are wrapped and ready to go. I need to wash all my clothes again on Monday or Tuesday and I need to clean my room and bathroom... That way when I come home it will already be clean. Im going to Edinburgh from Pitlochry on Boxing Day (Dec. 26th) and Ill come home on the 4th.

I want to look into a place to snowboard so I can possibly go up there when I come back for 2 weeks at the end of January. I miss my family and friends so much right now... especially now. I didnt really think about the fact that Im here during the holidays, I didnt think I would be this homesick. But the good thing is that I have alot of great opportunities while Im here and it really helps knowing everyone back home is supporting me. So, Im going to go shopping at the Christmas Market either tomorrow or Friday night and Im hoping to find something cool for Sam, and find an Irish ornament for my Mom. <3

Monday, December 14, 2009

9 days till Scotland!

I leave for Scotland on the 24th of December for a week and a half. Ill be flying home from Edinburgh on the 4th and will land an hour before I have to be at work... here's hoping I'm not to thrashed after spending Hogmany in Scotland. From what Ive hear the Scottish love to celebrate New Years! I cant wait. And the added bonus is that I will be returning to Scotland 2 weeks later and staying for 2 weeks. So hopefully Ill meet someone cool I can hang out with on the weekends while I'm there. :o)

I got my care package from my Mom and Dad today, it had a new pair of pajamas from my Grandma Julia and Grandpa John!!! I absolutely love new PJ's... It also had a water bottle and some multi vitamins, and cookies! I love my parents so much they're always thinking of me and really do make this a whole lot easier. Not to mention Cath is the best mom I could possibly work for so this is really starting to feel like home.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

14 days til Edinburgh

I only have 2 more weeks until I leave again for Scotland. Ill be there for 10 days and get to celebrate Christmas and New Years in a new and exciting place. Surprisingly I'm only mildly excited for this trip, but I think that's mostly because I've been getting out so much lately. Recently I've met a handful of very nice and cool people that I've been hanging out with. So I think I just haven't had the chance to think much about the holidays or the trip. It hardly seems like its Christmas time... usually I would have a few family get together leading up to the 25th, I would be helping my Mom decorate the house, and I would be buying presents for everyone. But I'm not doing any of that this year. I went to the Christmas Market yesterday with Emma and Claire and had a blast but I was there strictly to window shop. :o( I saw so many things I wish I could get for someone back home but the postage alone would break me, so it looks like that's not going to be happening. Not to mention I'm saving for the trip to Scotland. Thank god I don't have to pay for my hostel... Catherine is graciously covering the cost of that. But Christmas eve and day will be spent in Pitlochry and then on Boxing day I will be heading down to Edinburgh where I hope to have a great time... and hopefully Ill find some cool people and an awesome party to ring in the New Year! Now all I have to do is figure out what my resolution will be... any suggestions? Ive already semi stopped biting my nails, although this last week has been hard on them and I'm starting to slip. Other then that I have no idea what it will be this year and I could really use any ideas you have. I should be asleep right now because its 115 am. I got home tonight by 9 pm but like an idiot I started watching movies and stayed up way later then I had planned. At least tomorrow is a half day, and I am babysitting tomorrow night and Saturday night so I will be getting lots of rest this weekend. Good night. xoxo

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dec begins

Hey everyone.. well November has come and past and I'm on to my 3rd month here in Belfast and its been really good. Last weekend I got out a bit and met some new friends and I hope to hang out with them again soon. I haven't been updating this blog as much as I want to but the truth is I really don't have new things to report everyday so I don't write as much. LOL Anyways, I met some new friends and they all seem very cool, they just don't live in Belfast, they live in the towns about 15 mins away so that makes it a bit harder for us to hang out. But hopefully soon.

I leave for Scotland on Christmas Eve and will be in Edinburgh from the 26th through the 4th of January. I cant wait for Hogmany and to see how the Scots celebrate it. I'm hoping there will be some nice people in the hostel I'm staying in and hopefully I can hang with them while I'm there. I want to go see the Edinburgh castle and I'm going to be looking for some more things to do while I'm there. I'm sure there is loads to do... I just need to google it and see what I want to do.

Cath is in Edinburgh this weekend so that will give me the opportunity to work a few more hours this week and make a little extra cash... some is going to be stashed away in my savings and some will go for spending money while I'm in Edinburgh. I'm thinking after I come back from that trip Ill start banking majority of my earnings each week for when I come home so I will be able to pay the bills Ill have while I'm at home.

Ive also started looking on the aupair websites I'm on for a family somewhere in California for when I get home. I would ideally like to live somewhere up north in the San Fransisco area. That way I'm close enough to come home and for everyone to come visit whenever we like but I'm still far enough away to have my own life and Independence. I think that would be good. The thing is I just need to find the right family and get it all set up. I'm a little on the early side looking for families and most people are only looking for someone who can start in January and February, so I figure come mid January there will be alot more people looking and Ill find the right place for me... but if anyone knows anyone who is looking for a nanny, let me know. :O) Well I better be going but I hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving and hope to hear from you soon. :0D

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Hello everyone! I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving from Belfast. I know it's a couple days early but I thought I'd get a head start on it, especially since I am not celebrating it this year. I had hoped to cook a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner for myself and the family but Cath and Ollie will be out of the house Thursday night and lets face it... that's a whole lot of cooking for 3 adults and 2 wee ones. But I am there with you all in spirit. My Mom, Dad and big brother Rick will be in Modesto with my Mom's family and I am sure they will be passing along my love to them. I miss my family and friends so much! Its crazy how much I actually miss everyone. Even the people I haven't seen in awhile, I miss them even more being all the way over here. And it's even worse being around the holidays. I'm spending Christmas in Pitlochry with both Cath and Ollie's families but I am certain it won't be close to the same. I think that's going to be the hardest holiday... only because I've never spent a Christmas away from my parents. But on the bright side, after New Years I'll be half way through my stay here and I'll be looking forward to my Mom coming to Ireland to collect me.

This has been an amazing experience and I would change a thing but it will be nice to come home and hug everyone. I've been missing the big hugs I have gotten used to getting from my friends. My friends give the best hugs... especially Yvette and Anna. I can't wait to hang out with my girls again and feel truly relaxed and at home.

I've been doing alot of thinking about what I want to do once I get home and I'm hoping I can find a family to work for in California. Possibly San Fransisco area or somewhere in Northern California. That way I can have my own car and I can be close to everyone I love. I think I will try to save as much money as I can for the first year and then hopefully plan a trip or two with some friends. I still want to travel but I think shorter trips will be better. I wont have the homesickness to deal with and Ill be able to come back and keep working for the same family. I'm hoping and praying I find a family that I can stay with for quite awhile because I really do love Sam, Niamh and Max and the idea of leaving in March is breaking my heart. They are two of the sweetest and kindest children and I will miss them as much as I am missing my own family. That's the hard part of only being in their lives for 6 months, you fall in love with them and then you realize that you have to go home. It's a hard thing to deal with. It almost makes me wish I could stay longer, but unfortunately that isn't an option. I have to leave the UK at the end of March and there really isn't anything I can do about it. But I do know I'll always care about them and I am hoping I will see them again. Who knows, maybe they all can come for a visit and I can show them my home.

Well everyone I just got home from my kickboxing class and I am exhausted. It's a tough workout and really takes it out of you. But very fun and fulfilling. 4 weeks down and 2 more to go in my beginners class. After that there are other week to week classes I can take and I am planning on doing so. But now it's time for sleep. So I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!!! Oh, I almost forgot, my Mom just sent me a care package but she will be sending another one along before Christmas so if anyone wants to send me some goodies I would really be grateful... post is always a nice thing to get. :o) God bless & take care!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sorry its been so long...

Hey everyone! Sorry I haven't posted anything new in such a long time... there hasn't been much that's gone on since I got back from Scotland. I am just working everyday and trying to find some nice people to hang out with while I'm here. I'm babysitting tonight and tomorrow night but I will be going into city center and meeting a girl named Mandy who I met through facebook. Were going to go to the Belfast Christmas Festival at the city hall. They have basically every type of food you can imagine from all over the world. Greek, French, Mexican, Dutch... everything! They even have alligator burgers... but we will see if Mandy and I are brave enough to try those. She seems like a very nice girl, she goes to uni here in Belfast and has a boyfriend shes been with for awhile, so I'm hoping we hit it off well. I met another person off of facebook the other night for a pint and his name is Sean. His parents are both from Belfast but he lived in the states while he was a teenager and he also lived in Montana for awhile. So I can actually understand him when he talks and he seems like a nice lad. But other then trying to get out and have a social life, not much has been going on with me. I caught another cold after I got back from Scotland and unfortunately I still have traces of a cough and a sore ear, but other then that I feel fine.

I had my 3rd kickboxing class on Tuesday and despite feeling under the weather still I had a great time and made it through the class in one piece. I really enjoy kickboxing and cant wait for the next class. It comes really easily to me and I think most of that is due to the fact that I took tae kwon do for a few years when I was a kid. Its a good way for me to occupy one night of the week and also try to get into better shape and learn some self defense.

Also I want to report that I am spending a little over a week in Edinburgh, Scotland for New Years!!!!! I'm so excited for that and Ill be staying in a youth hostel in Old Edinburgh. I might be hanging out with David but if that doesn't pan out I'm almost positive there will be loads of people in the hostel and hopefully some of them wont mind if I tag along. There is loads of things I want to do while in Edinburgh and they really love to celebrate New Years in Scotland... or Hogmanay, as they call it... So Ill be celebrating Christmas with the family in Pitlochry and then on Boxing Day (Dec 26th) Ill be heading back to Edinburgh where Ill be until I fly back to Belfast on the 4th of Jan 2010!!! I cant wait...I'm super excited and will be sure to take pictures of everything.

Well Max's nap time is just about up so I need to wrap this up and I hope everyone back at home has an amazing Thanksgiving next week. Eat lots of turkey, stuffing, mash potatoes and yams for me... oh and DON'T forget the pumpkin pie! Lots of love from Belfast. <3

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Back from Scotland

Hi everyone! I'm back from Scotland and glad to report that I had an amazing time. We were there for Guy Fawke's day, Max's 2nd birthday and Uncle David's 24th birthday. It was an amazing party with loads of fireworks! The party was Saturday and we stayed in Pitlochry at Cath's mom's house till this last Tuesday. The town is a bit smaller but very beautiful and a little touristy. But I think its such a charming town. It reminds me alot of Visalia. The party was awesome... Cath, David, Andy, John and I were the last ones standing at the end of the night and then decided that it would be a good idea to consume some whiskey :o) That was disgusting but thankfully I wasn't hungover at all. David and I joined his friends at a pub in Pitlochry Monday night and had a few pints and met some very nice people from London and 2 men from Germany... one of which was named Hoover. :o) He was a very large, friendly man... who had us cracking up the whole night. He told David at the end of the night that he had a "vondervul vive"... (wonderful wife) :o) We didn't even bother trying to explain that we had only known each other for 3 days and weren't in fact married but it was a nice compliment all the same.

I talked with Catherine last night and I'm hoping to spend Christmas eve, and Christmas at her Mom's in Pitlochry and then head down to Edinburgh and stay there through the New Years. She and Ollie will cover the cost of my stay in a hostel and Ill be ringing in the New Year in Scotland!!! I'm so excited and hope to spend some more time hanging out with David. I'm praying this will be a New Year Ill never forget!!! I have a feeling that it will be, and of course Ill be making sure to take lots of pictures.

Well other then the fun filled weekend in Scotland, life has been pretty calm and normal. Cath and Ollie got home safe and sound from New York and he did VERY well in the NYC marathon. The 5 of us are heading to Dublin Saturday and Ill be staying in and babysitting Saturday night but Ill have all day Sunday to explore Dublin and get better acquainted with it. This will be my first time there since I landed a little over a month ago and can't wait! I've been told its a great town. When my Mom comes at the end of March we will spend a few days there, a couple in Belfast and then fly home together. I've already started thinking about what I'm going to do when I get home and I'm thinking I will start looking for another family before I return and hopefully Ill be staying in California for a little bit to save up some money and then who knows what... I know I do want to do some traveling, like going to Amsterdam with Anna... Italy, India, South Africa. Who knows... maybe Ill find someone else who wants to do the same and we can team up and see the world together. That would be awesome.

Well I have to go know and wake Max up from his afternoon nap and pick Niamh up from nursery. Hope all is well with everyone. xoxo

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Kickboxing & Pub Quiz

Hi everyone! Ive had such a busy week.. Cath and Ollie were in New York for the marathon and I'm happy to report he did very well in the race. He finished the 26 mile marathon in only 4 hours and they returned back home Tuesday morning. The kids were so happy to see their mom and dad. Their grandparents went home and I have to say all in all it was a great weekend. Mark and Rosie are very nice people and I hope to go visit them in Dublin sometime before I leave.

I had my very first kickboxing class Tuesday night... it was intense and I was dripping with sweat when it was over but I never felt better. I cant wait for next week. The class has about 20 people in it and you can even see a pic of us on the Prokick website. I am so sore today... I thought I was sore yesterday but that's nothing compared to how I feel today... its mostly my legs and my stomach but that just means I worked muscles that I haven't in a long time... which is a good thing. :o) I'm really hoping to be down another 30 lbs by the time I get home... and if I keep eating right and stay active I think I can do it. I'm leaving for Scotland and the fireworks party with Cath's family on Saturday and will be back Tuesday but I will still be able to make it to my class next Tuesday night... I can wait to leave more kickboxing moves and to get in better shape.

I went out last night for my very first pub quiz and even though my team lost it was still loads of fun... they had about 7 or 8 teams and we came in 5th... and there were 6 rounds total. It was nice to get out and meet some people. I was in a team with 4 other girls and they were all very nice. When we were playing the game at The John Hewitt Pub, the girls in my group and I recognized 2 men at the bar having a pint... low and behold they were Sean Bean and Mark Addy. You might remember Sean from his roles in National Treasure, Lord of the Rings, and Silent Hill. Mr. Mark Addy was in The Full Monty, A Knights Tale and The Flintstones Viva Rock Vegas. Both of them were nice and I even got their autographs. All in all it was a nice fun night and I got to meet two famous people I wouldn't have met if I hadn't been out in Belfast. I talked with them for a bit and they told me they're in Belfast filming a pilot for a new HBO show called Game of Thrones. Cant wait to see how it turns out!

All in all this week has been a week of first and Saturday the family and I are flying to Edinburgh and driving up to Pitlochry for the fireworks party. Yesterday was Max's 2nd birthday and Ollie's is this week as well and I think one of Cath's brothers has a birthday coming up so we will be celebrating that and lighting of loads of fireworks. I can't wait and Ill make sure to bring my camera and Ill try to take as many pictures as possible. Lots of love and hugs and kisses to everyone!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Posh Ireland

Hi everyone... right now I feel like I'm in an episode of the Twilight Zone. Im sitting with Ollies Mom and Dad and his aunt and uncle and let me tell you, these people come from a completely different world then I do. They're extremely wealthy and posh to say the least... I guess I dont really know how to discribe them exactly, I can't understand half the words they're using and they're quite 'well breed' to say the least. It really makes me feel like the help but I know thats only the case with these people because when I was visiting Cath's family last week I had a blast. I met lots of down to earth people and whle these people are nice and have some good stories, they're just in a whole other class all together. I'm beginning to realize more and more that Belfast is pretty much divied into two distinct categories... the upper and lower classes. Its a whole other world here... can't wait to see what else I learn during the next 5 months.

I have to say honestly I think I will have a way better time with Cath's family versus Ollie's. And I think they're very nice and I've had a good enough time but we are just different. Their shirts are too tight and a wee bit too proper for my taste. Anyways, the parents are home Tuesday morning, and were flying to Pitlochry for the fireworks party where I'm positive I will have a blast at!!! Can't freakin wait! :o) I love you all and hope everyone back home is well.

X's & O's

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Scotland trip

Hi everyone! Well I'm back from Scotland and I had so much fun!!! I've already posted the pictures on my facebook and I can't wait to go back next weekend. Edinburgh was nice and I got to go for a drink on the Royal Mile... which is a mile of street that starts at the Edinburgh Castle and has loads of pubs on it. I didn't get to spend much time in Pitlochry but I will be the next time I go back. I spent an extra night up in Fort Augustus at Catherine's brothers hostel. We left the kids with their grandma on Saturday night and had a great night at the pub in the hostel. :o) I can't even begin to tell you all how many drinks I had... and those of you who know me best know I hardly ever drink, but that night was a fun night of drinking. Kenny, Cath's brother, is a really nice easy going guy and on hell of a bartender!!! I got to meet his daughter Leo and she is a cool girl and we got on very well. I decided to stay a second night up at the hostel and we rocked the wii the next night. Fort Augustus is on the south shore of Loch Ness and is so beautiful, the Highlands in general are gorgeous and I cant wait to go back. It was one of the funnest weekends I've had in a long time.

The ferry over was a new experience too, we were one of the first to board the ship and to drive off, I didn't realize that people traveled like that but after doing it I would jump at the chance to do it again. But next time were flying over, which will take less time. I think the flight is only 45 mins long :o)

Cath & Ollie are leaving bright and early in the morning for New York where Ollie will be running in a marathon Saturday. They will be gone through the weekend and will be home Tuesday morning. I'll be minding the children along with the help of Ollie's mom & dad. I am starting my kickboxing class Tuesday night & its a six week course. Thankfully Cath will be back before my class starts so I can drive myself to it instead of taking the bus. (they're leaving the car at the airport) But I do wish Ollie the best in his 24 mile race and hopes he does as well as he wants too. So they're gone until next Tuesday and then on Friday were back off to Scotland for a fireworks party. I am excited beyond words for that party!!! Well it's time for me to go, I hope everyone is doing well and please continue to read.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Hiya everyone! I'm just posting a little blog because I have 2 things I wanted to share with all of you... the first is that the kids and I had THE best day ever today! Everyone was happy and cheerful and no one cried at all!!! I'm so excited, we went to playgroup and then came home for lunch. Niamh went to nursery school and Max went down for his nap. After Niamh get home we baked cookies, bad ones but still it was the thought that counts. Then they played while I ironed and cooked their dinner and then Dad came home and I went down Lisburn Street for some fish and chips. Yummy!

Now the next thing I want to tell you will probably alarm my mom but I want to assure her and everyone else that I am FINE... I was walking across one of the side roads and there were 2 cars waiting to turn onto Lisburn, I walked between them thinking the woman in the second car had seen me but obviously she hadn't because as I was walking across the car in front made its turn, the second car then pulled up to go as well and hit me. She didn't hit me hard or knock me down but it did give me a huge fright! I braced myself with my hands on the hood of her car and she actually looked at me with what I thought was anger... but in retrospect it could have been fear and shock, hard to tell. But she didn't even roll down her window to ask if I was alright. Crazy Belfast drivers don't even look to see where they re driving!!! Then again my Mom and Dad will be the firsts ones to tell you I have had some bad luck with cars hitting me before this... lol. Thankfully I wasn't hurt and was just scared. Ill be sure to make eye contact with the drivers the next time I cross. Well its pouring down rain but I was still able to get in a good amount of walking today, which will really help with my weight lose. I'm going to watch Roman Holiday and go to bed early. Cath and Ollie are going out tonight so I'm babysitting and its off to Scotland in 2 days! Hope all is well and Ill be writing again soon.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday Post

Hiya everyone! I'm sitting up in my room and I'm about to watch Seven Brides for Seven Brothers before I go to sleep but I wanted to drop in and post a little something for all of you who are watching and reading this blog... I wanted to say thanks! Thanks to my parents for supporting me and for everyone else who has offered advice, support and love... I truly appreciate it more then I can express. Things are going good. I am going to Scotland with Catherine and the kids this weekend, we will be leaving Friday and traveling by boat to Scotland. We will be doing alot of driving because were not only going to Edinburgh but also to her Mom's in Pitlochry and also to see her brother near Lochness. I'm so excited for this trip and we will be going back several more times while I'm here. Ill make sure to take lots of pictures and will put them on my facebook too. I'm not too sure if Ill have access to Internet while I'm there so I might not be able to post till after we return on Tuesday.

I'm even more excited for my Mom's visit here in March... I'm so grateful that Ill be able to see her first and then have her sitting next to me on the flights home. :o) I plan to give her the biggest hug when I collect her from the airport in Dublin.

I've been doing a lot of thinking and even though I'm so grateful for this experience, its made me realize how much I want and need my family and friends close by. I'm living abroad and that's something I will never forget but I've decided that before I come home I'm going to look for a family to work for in California instead of going overseas again. This way I can work close to home... maybe in San Fransisco or San Diego, and save my money and take some trips to Europe instead. I still want to travel and there is a lot more places I want to visit, just not for as long. My family & friends are so important to me and I don't ever want to be away from home for this long again. I'm thinking the first place I want to take a trip to is either the Netherlands or Italy. I have a sweetheart of a friend who lives in Italy so maybe Ill go see her after Ive saved up the cash. She lives right in the middle of Italy so I would be able to spend time in Venice, Milan, and Rome. But I also would like to take a trip to Amsterdam but I might hold off on that until my friend Anna is able to come with me too... I'm definitely going there with one or more of my friends. :o)

Well everyone, I'm going to start my movie and go to sleep soon, but thanks so much again for everything and Ill keep you all in my prayers. God Bless!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Fly Butterfly Festival

Hiya everyone!!! I hope everything is going good and well with you all. My voice is still a little bit raspy but all in all I'm feeling much better! I signed up this week for a 6 week kickboxing class and that starts on Nov 3rd. I'm so excited for that and hopefully it will help me loose more weight. As some of you know Ive lost 40 pounds or almost 3 stones since April and I'm hoping to loose even more before I come home in March. I was also told today about a weight lose clinic just down the road from my home here in Belfast so I'm going to give them a call Monday morning and see what the cost is for that. Tomorrow I'm going to my first meet up with the Belfast Social Meet up group and we are going to meet about a half mile from my house and walk 3.5 miles to the city hall and just walk and talk. :o) So tomorrow Ill be getting in a nice 4 mile walk which should help burn of all the carbs Ive been eating. Catherine was telling me today it looks like Ive actually lost a few pounds since coming 2 weeks ago which makes me optimistic that maybe I haven't backslid too far. I just need to keep eating well and get out for more walks. Starting Monday I'm going to be going for walks nightly after I'm off work, maybe Ill see if Motivation weight lose clinic will be open and Ill just walk down to see what they're all about.
But anyways, today was a lovely day. Catherine and I took the kids to Streamvale open farm again... I always like going there because of all the animals and plus it smells like home. :oD Then we headed back to town and went into city centre and went to the Fly Butterfly Festival at Belfast's newly renovated city hall... which by the way is one of the most beautiful buildings in town. They had a parade that ended at the city hall building and then there were 4 people hanging on the side of the building while dancing above the people preforming on stage. There were also 4 people dressed like butterflies standing on the roof of the building dancing as well. It was really something amazing to see. We then met up with Sarah, Catherine's best friend and her children and went for a pint. :o) We sat outside of one of the oldest pubs in Ireland and just relaxed and let the children play together. I even tried some of Cath's Guinness and I know I'm supposed to be drinking it while I'm in Ireland but thanks but no thanks! That stuff just isn't for me plus they still have vodka here so I think Ill stick with that! I did get a chance to try a Ulsters fry... which if you don't know what that is, it's the traditional Irish hangover meal... 2 fried eggs, ham, sausage, bread, and tomatoes. That is the best thing Ive eaten since I landed 3 weeks ago! I shared it with the kids but I don't mind. But next chance I get I'm having one all to myself because it was delicious!!!

I'm also really excited because my Mom booked her ticket to come out and see my in March and we will be flying home together on March 29th!!! I'm so excited to show her Belfast and I'm of course going to take her to the Giant's Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge and whatever else she wants to see! Maybe even the Titanic museum. I cant wait to collect her from the Dublin airport and I'm sure by that time Ill have some things to show her in Dublin as well. I just cant wait to give her the biggest hug ever!

This next Friday Catherine, the kids and I will be heading over to Scotland and we will be staying til the following Tuesday. Ill be getting to go to Lochness too because we will be going to see her brother there. That's something I'm really looking forward to as well and I will be taking loads of pictures. Ive already posted the pictures I took today on my facebook. Today was such a fun day and I'm hoping to meet some nice people tomorrow as well. But its getting pretty late here so I better be off to bed now, but thanks so much for reading and for the interest in what I'm doing... it means more to me then you'll ever know to know that the people in my life truly do care. I am a very blessed person and can't wait to get home and see you all again. All my love!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Its raining at home

Hi everyone... So Ive been reading every ones updates and I see that its raining back at home in California... I love the rain, especially when it rains in Visalia. Its my favorite weather to be in. :o) Everything is going good here in Belfast but no rain lately. I'm still getting over being sick, my throat is sore from coughing but I'm hoping it gets better. I was sick in bed all weekend long which was miserable! I barley got out of bed Friday and Saturday but Sunday it got a little better and the same with yesterday and today.

Yesterday I felt like if I didn't get out I was going to burst, so I went down to city centre and got a drink at one of the pubs and started talking to a few people. They were really nice and go to Queens University. We later relocated to another pub and played pool all night and I have to say it was nice to get out and just hang out for a bit. I am going to go with Catherine tonight to a clothes swap and see how that is, but tonight I'm planning on going to bed early and get a good nights sleep. My throat is killing me today but I am hoping by the end of the week I will be healthy again and can go out... I got the numbers of the people I was hanging out with last night so hopefully we can meet up again this weekend and have some fun. It will help with my homesickness. I miss my parents and my friends and all of my family, but I know if I give up now Ill just regret it forever. So I push on and will try to be positive. Love and miss you all!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Feelin Icky!

Hi everyone... as I had feared would happen I think I am getting sick... I have a cough, my ears are sore, my muscles ache and I just in general feel icky. And to add insult to injury it's as if the kids can sense that I am not completely up to par and thus are on the rampage. Niamh, who is 3, has been in a particularly grouchy mood today and had a poop accident this morning after her mom left... joy. Catherine's friend picked her up from nursery today so that was one less thing I had to do but tonight Catherine has her 2 little one's plus her friends 2 small children... all of which are in bad moods and have been screaming their heads off for the last hour or so. Poor Catherine, thankfully she kicked me out and sent me to rest in my room. So that is where I am hiding at the moment. Although today is a bad day, I would still like to tell you a little bit about Niamh & Max. Niamh is 3 and is a pretty pink princes like all little girls her age are. She loves Scooby Doo and can be quite sweet... and sometimes naughty if I'm being honest. But she's sweet and loves to play and dance and put on makeup. Max is almost 2, his birthday is in November. He is smart and caring and sweet. He loves trains and his domey... aka pacifier :o) He almost always has at least one on him at any given time. He likes to climb and play and is generally a happy little boy.

Well folks I'm sorry this one is so short but I'm really starting to feel achy and tired even though its not even 7 pm... I think I might see if Catherine has any cough medicine and go to bed early. Ive eaten 3 oranges today hoping that the vitamin c will help and I'm drinking lots of water. It just figures that I haven't been sick in a long time and now that I'm here, starting a new job and in a new city and country that I would come down with a cold. Pray for me please and Ill post another entry soon. Bye.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

1st Week

Greetings from Belfast... my first week at work is half over and I am a little worn out from today. It was a little bit stressful because I started driving today. Driving on the other side of the road is confusing enough but to make it worse Im driving in a big city which Ive never been too keen on doing. But Id say all in all today went really well. Catherine is going to look into getting me a driving lesson just so I can get the basics of driving in the UK down. The lines on the road and the signs are all different and dont even get me started on the stupid round abouts! Those things are crazy! lol But Im sure after a week or two of driving with the crazy Belfast drivers Ill be a pro. At least I hope so... :o)

I do have to admit I am getting a little homesick... its only been a week but I miss my Mom and Dad, my friends, especially Anna, Yvette, Ev, Nate, Ben... all of them really. Life and everything is so different here but I just need to get out and meet new people, make new friends and find ways to fill my nights and weekends.

Im also excited to report that Catherine and Olley have expressed that they are very happy with me and how quickly the kids and I have taken to each other. They are such a nice family and Im glad I get to spend this time with them. Im babysitting for them tonight so that Catherine can go to dinner with her friends and Olley can hit the gym. It been a long day and the kids are finally in bed so Im going to relax... kick my feet up and watch a movie before bed. Gnight and I love and miss you all!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Catch up...

Hello everyone! Yesterday was such a fun day... I went on a tour of the northern coast up the the Giant's Causeway. It was amazing!!! And beautiful to say the least. We stopped at a huge rope bridge called Carrick-a-rede rope bridge but unfortuntly it was losed because of the high winds. Normally they close it down when the wind gets above 35 mph and yesterday it was reported to be over 75 mph!!! I could actually lean all my weight forward and the wind kept me standing up right. It was great! The rain came and went yesterday and as fast as it started it was over again. I love it! We got to take a long scentic drive along the coast and its more beautiful then anything Ive ever seen before. After the rope bridge we made our way to the Giants Causeway where I first had a wee lunch with 4 people I met on the tour... theyre really nice and theyre all studying English in Dublin so as soon as I get a chance to go to Dublin with Catherine and Olley, Ill be giving them a ring and well be getting together for some drinks and fun. After lunch we walked the 1.5 miles to the Causeway... all in all Id say I walked close to 4 or 5 miles yesterday alone. Which is making my legs pretty sore to say the least. :o) But all that will do is help me keep taking off my weight. The Causeway has these hexigon shaped stones which formed because of a volcano. Truely one of the greatest wonders of the world. After the Causeway we made a wee stop at the Bushills distilary and then stopped to look at one of the many castles in Ireland. It was such a fun and active day and I got to see so much of the coast, it was amazing! Catherine said we will take a trip up there so I can walk out on the rope bridge.

I spent today with the family at the Belfast city zoo, it was so nice and you get a great view of the city and the water from there. Niemh, Max and I have already started to bond and have ben getting along very well. Ive gotten lots of hugs and kisses already, it doesnt hurt that Niemh and I both love anything pink. :oD I can already tell the next six months are going to be loads of fun, especially because of the family Im with. Ive already started meeting new people and can't wait to go to Dublin and hang out with my new Swedish, Italian and French friends. :o) As soon as I get the charger for my camera battery Ill be able to take loads more pictures and Ill be posting them on my facebook for everyone to see.

Oh, and Ive noticed my accent changing as well... I do it wherever I go, I start to talk like the people Im around and of course Belfast is no exception. LOL Ive even started using a wee bit of there words too, as you can see. ;O) And Ill get to learn how to do some driving tomorrow when I go out with Catherine... pray I do well and dont make too many wrong turns lol. :o)

Well thats all for now, Im looking forward to Skyping with my mom in a couple hours and then I think Im going to go for a wee walk and then go to bed early. Ill be starting work officially tomorrow but like I said the kids and I are getting on amazingly and I have to doubt the next 6 months will go smoothly! More to come later! For all my friends and family who are keeping up with this blog... I love you and miss you terribly but Im having a wonderful time and its better then I ever imagined. Thanks for all of your love and support and Ill be sending postcards home soon.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Just a wee blog

Hi folks! I had such a long and exciting day today... I went on a tour of the Causeway Coastal Route and I am exhausted. Ill get back on here tomorrow and update everyone in detail but right now I need to get some sleep. Hope all is well with you and Ill be writing again soon. Take care and keep on reading!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Arrived in Ireland

Hi everyone! I landed safe and sound yesterday in Dublin and was greeted by Catherine and the children at the airport. Niamh, Max and I have already started to bond and trust me when I say these are two of the most adorable kids! And sweet as well. I got settled in and slept most of my first day here but today I headed into town to explore Belfast... the center of the town in only about 10 mintues away by bus and I didnt have a problem finding my way around. The money took me about half a day to get ahold of but now I think I know what Im doing. I wondered around Belfast for a couple hours... got some fish and chips for lunch :o) and then took a bus tour. They drove us all around and showed us where the Titanic was built! I have another tour ticket for tomorrow morning and Ill get to see some of the countryside on that one, were going to The Causeway. If you dont know what that is take a look at this:

We also get to go to a Dunluce Castle, Carrick-a-rede bridge and old Bushmills Distillary. Ive already posted the photos from my trip over and from today... Ill make sure to bring my camera and get as many pictures as possible tomorrow! I miss my friends and family so much already but Im having a blast in Belfast!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Chicago O'Hare

Hello everyone! I'm sitting in the terminal at the Chicago airport... my flight left San Fran at 6:15 AM!!! Getting up at 330 in the morning defiantly doesn't agree with me. :o) But I'm here waiting for my flight to start boarding... and I already missing Visalia a little bit. Lets see today is Wednesday and if I was still at home I would be at work right now. I'm really quite glad to be out of that job because I was not that great of a store clerk. Facts and numbers aren't really my thing. But being a nanny... that's something I'm good at so I'm very optimistic about the next 6 months! I absolutely can not wait to get off the plane and see Ireland. I wonder what we will be doing first, well first I have to go through customs but then Ill be meeting Catherine. We wont be able to spend any time in Dublin but it will be an experience driving to Belfast. I hope Ireland is as green as it is in my imagination. I hope I make some friends in Belfast, the time will fly by if I have a couple cool people to hang out with during my off time. And I hope my mom will be able to come out in March, that would be so great! Even if she just came to see Belfast and some of the places in Northern Ireland... just to have her there would be awesome. I am starting to get anxious but I think I'm more anxious about being away from my parents, friends and everything that's familiar to me. I have a fear of the unknown but now is the time to get over that! Soon enough Ill be just at home in Belfast as I am in Visalia... hopefully. :o) Well that's about it for now, Ill be boarding my plane for Dublin in about 45 minutes, keep on reading... more to come later.

Friday, September 25, 2009

4 days till Belfast

Well I only 4 more days till I leave California for Belfast Northern Ireland. Im so excited! Today was my last day working at Kaweah Delta and now I just have 3 more days of working with my Dad. Tomorrow is my bon voyage party... I cant wait for that too, alot of my friends and family are coming and the best part is knowing theyre all there to support me. I know this is what God wants me to do because everyone I love belives it will be a good step for me. Im so excited to see where this new opportunity will take me. I'm hoping to find a language class in Belfast and hopefully even a kick boxing class. It will be a great way to get some cardio in. Making today even better, I went to my final weigh in and I lost 4.2 pounds this week. I've lost almost 40 pounds since April! Hopefully Ill be down another 4o pounds when I come back home in April next year...
Well I'm pretty much packed except for what needs to be washed Monday, but after that Ill be all packed up. My Mom, Dad and I are leaving for San Fransisco Tuesday afternoon and then I fly out Wensday morning. I have a 7 hour layover in Chicago then it's on to Dublin where Catherine will meet me. 4 more days to go...

Monday, September 21, 2009

9 days till Belfast

September 21st, 2009

I'm starting to get more and more excited as they days go by... and they are flying by fast! I have one of my huge suitcases packed but I still have some shopping to do and more clothes to pack... plus Ill have to pack my carry on Sunday. I've been starting to worry about my meds being delivered in time but thankfully they came today. I'm not sure if Ive mentioned this but I am bi polar.... thats one of the hardest things about giving up my job, it came with health care but I figure I can come home every 6 months and see my doctor, and order my medication online. Its a higher cost but I can travel with my meds and not have to worry. Its the one option that will let me do what I have always wanted to do... travel. Well I would write more but Im meeting my parents for sushi! Yum :o) More to come later... keep on reading.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

10 days till Belfast

Greetings from Visalia, Ca. My name is Melissa and I am 25 years old. I was born in Visalia and have lived here my entire life. I'm about to do something Ive only dreamed about... Im going to move to another country. I took a job as an aupair for the Shortt family in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Ive quit my job and moved out of my apartment so that I can come and spend six months with Catherine and Olley and Ive never been more scared and excited in my life. The Shortt's are a sweet and nice couple and the one comfort I have is that I will be staying with people who can help my acclimate to the new culture. Im starting my last week of work Moday and will be spending time with friends Sunday night at the local county fair... I leave for Belfast from San Fransisco at 6:15 am on Wen. Sept. 30th. I'm not yet packed but I still have some clothes to buy before I can do that. Im mostly looking forward to the Irish weather. I hope it rains and snows alot! Well its after midnight and I have a full day ahead of me tomorrow... keep reading and I know this isnt the most interesting post but hopefully I will have more worldly experiences to write about in the future.