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!