April 17, 2015

Oklahoma Home

Our first weekend in Tulsa was all about family.  We took four days to just relax and soak in the time with all four grandparents and my sister's gorgeous little family.  Nana and Grandpa and Nana and Poppa picked up right where they left off on their last visit which has gone down in history as the Best Christmas Ever.  Aunt Kara, Uncle Tyler, Price, and Brennan were all seeing us for the first time in three years and Callen was meeting the PJ5 for the first time ever.  There are no words to describe how amazing it felt to spend time with our family.

In addition to hugging my sister every thirty seconds family time, we managed to enjoy some delicious American food.  Enchiladas!  Burgers!  Caesar salads!  Oh my word.  It was heaven.  I swear we gained 10 pounds each.

We also got acquainted with our new vehicle and spent almost two hours inside our house!  Both purchases were made from 5,000 miles away.  You can buy anything on the internet these days.  :)

The car...er, minivan (eek!) is awesome and the house is incredible.  Thankfully Nick and I were even more impressed with both than we had allowed ourselves to imagine.  A huge thank you to my sister and Connie at Curttright Honda for having Humphry Bogart at the airport to meet us.  Thank you doesn't even begin to cover the gratitude we feel to my dearest friend Jordan for helping us buy the perfect house sight unseen.  Our Oklahoma home is going to be absolutely amazing for our family!

Are these two tired after 14 hours of travelling?  No way!
They cannot wait to see their family!

Callen is wondering why the heck this curly haired crazy is up in his grill, but Annie knows they are kissing cousins.
That girl never met a stranger.

Teense iving her Grandpa a skeeze and a pat-pat.

That's my new ride in the background.  Say hello to Humphry Bogart.
(I may or may not have named him to gloss over the fact that I'm driving a minivan.)

MUSCLES at Old Navy.

These two are less than three months apart.
They are going to be trouble.

This girl has been dreaming about enchiladas for months.
She polished off that entire plate.

Poppa and Teensa.
In it together.

Three generations: Nana, Nick, and Annie.

Annie adores her ninis.  :)

Practically every time I turned around Ella was hugging someone.

Bitzy has been waiting for months to hang out with this guy.

Inside our house!
Our close is set for late May.
We would love to get in sooner, but our furniture won't arrive in the US for 6-8 weeks.

While we checked out the house, Nana and Annie got familiar with our play room.

Nana Julie is giving Nick her opinion.
Everyone had to weigh in on the new house!

Cousins lined up according to height.

And according to age.
(Sneaky Ella! You can just see that she's standing on tiptoe.)

So much to be excited about and our time in Oklahoma has only just begun!  

After three years in Maryland, three years in Germany, and four years in England, I've been proud to say that I am an Oklahoman.  It's truly a dream come true to bring my little party of five back home.

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April 12, 2015

52 Project: 15/52

Week 15
April 6 - 12, 2015

Top:  Leaving on a jet plane!  These three beauties are Oklahoma bound!

Bottom:  Teensa puts on her Burt's Bees.  This girl is ready to get off the plane and kiss her grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins!

April 8, 2015

So Much to Miss: Around Cheltenham

Our last days in Cheltenham were filled with goodbyes.  Not only were we saying farewell to our friends, we were also taking our last looks at familiar things around town.  We will see our friends Stateside, but we will no longer see Cheltenham as locals.  When we make a trip back to Cheltenham (which we plan to do in about 5 years), we will be visitors.

All these last visits were bittersweet.  Years of memories...too many fun experiences to count.

Montpellier Chapter, formerly Hotel Kandinsky.

Crazy kids at a posh restaurant.
We're crazy like that.

Annie loved the steak.

Our final Sunday at Christ Church.
(I felt weird taking a photo in church, but I had to get one.)

Church followed by lunch at Zizzi.
It's a tradition.

Three Zizzi bambini cones, please.

Shopping on the Promenade.

Kisses in Cafe Rouge.

Saying goodbye to Elena and other friends at Montpellier Park.

Hotel du Vin with my big girl.

Saying goodbye to the Damans.

Farewell to the Queens Hotel.

Annie in Imperial Square with Eagle Tower in the background.

Cheltenham cherry blossoms.

In our flat on Queens Parade.

The girls playing the wardrobe.

See you Stateside, Thuse Cat.

You can never have too much Imperial Square.

Weddings, holidays, festivals, outings, birthday parties, celebratory events, familiar landmarks, friendships of a lifetime, and so much more.  We love the experiences we've had during these years we've called Cheltenham home.

April 5, 2015

52 Project: 14/52

Week 14
March 30 - April 5, 2015

Top:  Dinner out at the Montpellier Chapter.

Bottom:  Serious little lady.  Her face looks so different when it's not framed by curls!

April 4, 2015

Cambridge Pit Stop

Moving across the Atlantic isn't for the faint at heart.  Things that are relatively simple for a domestic relocation are unnecessarily complicated and extremely time consuming.  The process of shipping our car to the States involved eight hours at a cleaning company, a four hour drive, an official agricultural inspection, and endless paperwork.  And that's just the car.  Every other aspect of this move has been equally complicated.

So in order to make the onerous task of car shipment a bit more enjoyable, we decided to stay overnight and make it a bit of a sightseeing experience.  Cambridge was just a few miles off our route and is a corner of the UK that we've never seen before, so these PJ's spent the day punting, marketing, eating, and touring colleges.

Punting on the River Cam.

Our punter was a graduate student at Cambridge.
Ella and Kate thought he was really cool.
And I will admit that his thighs were impressively toned.

King's College from the water.

Future mathematician at the Mathematical Bridge.

Annie was wedged between her parents.
We did not want her to go overboard.

Punting under the St John's College's version of the Bridge of Sighs.

Ready for lunch at Butch Annie's.  :)

We chose this place based on the name, and it was AMAZING!

The girls loved their milkshakes and these stretchy guys.

And I enjoyed the best burger I've ever eaten in 4.5 years of living in this burger-forsaken country.
I was SO SAD when it was all inside my belly.

Burgers followed by cakes from the legendary Fitzbillies.

They don't look like much, but trust me when I say that these Chelsea buns were truly incredible.

In true British fashion, these fairy cakes looked much better than they tasted.
Kate didn't even eat hers.
Her exact words were, "It's an ENGLISH cake.  I'm not interested."

College girls.

Inside the St John's College Chapel.

Enjoying the college grounds.

Kate can't wait to become a Fellow so she can walk on the grass.  :)

Quick family photo in front of the Bridge of Sighs.

It was a glorious day out in a stunningly beautiful city steeped in history and tradition.  Nick and I loved Cambridge and Ella and Kate enjoyed it so much that they decided that they might want to go to school there some day.  (If they could get in, that is.  Only 1 in 10 applicants actually get accepted to the university.)  If by some miracle Nick and I can actually afford to send our daughters to Cambridge, I would go and visit them at each and every opportunity!