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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

52 Weeks of Happiness - Week 48

I have a little garden in my backyard.


It's slowly growing,


there's tomatoes
and basil.


Happiness is a beautiful garden growing out back.





Monday, January 30, 2012

Pizza in the Hood

Our friends, Tommy and Elizabeth built themselves a wood pizza oven.
How cool is that????


I'm seriously considering asking Tommy to build us one too.

So yesterday they had their first run through.
And as they live in the "hood", 
I call this:            
   Pizza in the Hood!    

After all, we did have 
Halloween in the Hood,
Thanksgiving in the Hood,
Christmas in the Hood,
so why not
Pizza in the Hood!!!!!

Part of Pizza in the Hood was to roll out your own dough.



We had a toppings bar,


and there was an insanely long queue.


But you know the pizza was good.
It even received thumbs up from Ethan.











Saturday, January 28, 2012

LH3

When I lived in Dar,
I was a, proud, member of the
 Dar es Salaam Hash House Harriers.

For anyone that isn't familiar with the Hash,
it's a drinking club with a running problem.

We use to meet every Monday night.
It was usually a 5k run or a 3k walk.
We'd then get back together,
form a circle,
sing silly songs,
and then have dinner.

I loved it.
I was even given a Hash name on my 3rd hash.

I even hashed when I was pregnant
(and stuck to drinking water).

However, after Ethan was born,
the hash was harder to do.
I went a couple times with Ethan,
carrying him in a sling,
but the hash was around his feeding time.
Then, as he got older,
the choice was between hashing,
or giving Ethan his dinner and putting him to bed.

I hadn't thought about the Hash in a long time.

Then a colleague of mine,
invited me to join her and her kids
to the Lusaka Hash House Harriers.

Yup her kids went!
Apparently the LH3 isn't quite as rowdy
as the DH3.
It's also a Saturday afternoon.

Ethan joined me when we went to a hash in December.
It was the mince pie hash.
It was a small hash, but we had fun.

We enjoyed it so much,
we went hashing again yesterday.

There were a lot more people there.

And we're off.

Ethan loves the hash.
This week, 
Ethan walked a dog,
and found a chameleon.


When he got tired,
Celia and Charlie
gave him a lift.


We got back,
and it was circle time.

First the hares entered, 

then the newcomers.
There were a lot of newcomers this week.

Celia had an announcement to make,
so she went in the circle.
Since Ethan was on her shoulders
he went in too.
And remembered to take off his hat.
(No hats in the circle.)

You know it's a good hash,
when your son finds a mate, 
and the two of them find the chalk,
and decorate your butt!



Tuesday, January 24, 2012

52 Weeks of Happiness - Week 47

Don't you just love the smell of baked goods?
Your whole kitchen, and possibly house, 
smells delicious.
I came home today to that smell.
OMG!!!!
Love it.
Mary, our housekeeper,
and Ethan
baked some banana bread.


Happiness is a wonderful loaf of banana bread.





Monday, January 23, 2012

P.H.A.T.

I've enjoyed the last 5 months living in Lusaka.
I've probably enjoyed it a wee bit too much.
It would appear life in Lusaka means gaining a kilo,
or two.
I knew I had to join.

I found some colleagues at work who also wanted it.
We tweaked the chart a bit.
And we're off!

This is week 1 for us.
Today is day 1.
I don't think I've drunk so much water!

I'm really excited for this challenge,
since it's not so much a diet,
as a life choice.
You earn points for being healthy.
Eating your fruits, veggies, drinking water, exercising. 
My struggle will be staying away from the lattes 
or anything sweet.
Or even giving up wine o'clock!

We've all put in 100,000 Kwa ($20)
and each week the person with the most points gets a,
non-food related,
treat.
We've even given ourselves a name.
PHAT
Physical, Healthy, Active Teachers.

I went out for a walk with 2 colleagues yesterday.
I planned to take a picture of me,
so I could post a before,
and hope the after is much better.
I'm a little scared of the before shot.
Let's see how I do at the end of the 8 weeks,
and maybe I'll share both.

Yes, I'm chicken!!!!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Morrigan's Cross - Nora Roberts

My mate Sarah introduced me to the Black Dagger Brotherhood and the Drake Sisters. I love them both. She also gave her seal of approval to the Cat & Bones series. So when she recommended Nora Roberts trilogy, I'd be a fool to pass up.

To be honest, I've never read anything by Nora Roberts. I know she writes romance novels, but have never read one. Have never been interested. To be honest, when Sarah told me about the trilogy, I wasn't entirely sold. But then Christmas vacation came around and I needed some books. 

Morrigan's Cross is a trilogy about vampires, love, goddesses, time travel. I don't know how else to explain it. In 17th century Ireland, Hoyt's brother Cian is turned into a vampire. The goddess, Morrigan, comes to him and tells him he must lead an army against the powerful vampire Lilith. He is thrown through time to current day New York, where he meets his brother and a witch, Glenna. Together they are the first of the army.

So, I have to admit, I had some issues with the beginning. So in the 17th century Lilith creates vampires, but the battle will happen today? The Gods are allowing her to continue to create vampires, and build her army for a thousand years before the battle? I had issues with Hoyt's time travel.

But I got over it.

There's a wonderful power between Hoyt and Glenna. We see Hoyt return to his Irish home, but a thousand years after leaving it. There's the relationship between Hoyt and his twin. Cian is no longer human, but still his brother, is he not? 

The biggest issue I had with the book, was the ending. There was none! It continues in the second book. And I don't have it. But Sarah came to the rescue. She's sent it to me. So I will be back with news on what happens next....




Saturday, January 21, 2012

Time to Throw in the Towel?

Like any couple deciding to get married, when Scott and I got engaged, we knew we wanted a family. Two, maybe even three kids. I love kids. I taught preschool for years, and often said it was the best job ever. I got to play with playdough all day long. What could be better?

A year after we got married, we moved to Korea. The plan was to be gone for a year. We thought it was the perfect opportunity to do some travelling before we settled down and started having children. Well the one year turned into three years. At this point, we loved the Expat life that children got thrown on the backburner. In fact, we were thinking maybe only having one. And that was a maybe.

After a few years in Tanzania, we realised this would be our new home. We had a lot of mates with children and realised we did in fact want children. But now, many years had passed, and the idea of three kids didn't seem realistic. We were back down to one or two.

Once we made the decision, we were excited. We knew it would probably take a year to get pregnant, so we never focused on that. Four months later, April 1st, 2005 at midnight, I was being rolled into surgery. I had a twin ectopic. My tube had erupted. I had never heard of an ectopic pregnancy before, and couldn't understand how it happened since I didn't even know I was pregnant.

It seemed the dream of having children had come to an end. 

The saying that God has a plan is true.

Six months later, we learnt we were expecting Ethan.

Thrilled is an understatement. 

I always call Ethan my miracle baby. It seems that may have more meaning than I believed.

Since Ethan's birth, we've tried for another. We've had a few miscarriages. As Ethan gets older, the age difference also grows. Is it time to throw in the towel?

This past week, my little cousin came to visit. She's 11. Which means there's a 6 year age difference between her and Ethan. We went out for lunch, went to the mall, played at home. She gave me an idea of what life would be like in 5 years, if we were to have another. She's great with Ethan. Except when she disappeared and Ethan followed her. Has anyone seen the children? I would often say. But it was great. And made me realise how much I want another.

So here's the thing. We're not pregnant. And I'm beginning to loose faith. I've got mates who have had 2 or 3 and are trying for 3 or 4. They're not as old as I am, so you know they'll be blessed. And that pisses me off. I love them dearly, but why do they get the chance for a third or fourth when we can't have a second? 

Let's face it. As much as I like to think I'm 32, I'm not. And I'm not getting any younger. We haven't been able to keep a pregnancy since Ethan was born. So, it it time to throw in the towel? Do we give up the dream? I love my family of three. But can I accept that that's all we'll ever be?



Tuesday, January 17, 2012

52 Weeks of Happiness - Week 46

While Scott, Ethan and I
love our move to Zambia,
my parents do not.
They claim they miss us,
but let's be honest,
they miss Ethan.
So they came for a visit.
My little cousin
(ok, she's 11 so maybe not so little)
also came to visit.
She convinced her parents 
she could miss a few days of school 
because she needed to see Ethan.

Don't you just love that?

We didn't tell Ethan they were coming.
We told him we had a surprise for me.
As we approached the airport,
Ethan announce;
"Don't tell me we're going to the airport!"
Ok, we won't tell you.

My parents made great time with their flight.
They were already outside when we got there.
Ethan saw my cousin first.
His eyes lit up and he ran to her.
He then acknowledged my parents.

Ethan loved spending time with his cousin.
They played like siblings.
It was great to see the joy in Ethan's face.




Happiness is playing with your favourite cousin.





Monday, January 16, 2012

Celebrity Husband Part II

So yesterday I shared my potential celebrity husband after watching Ramona and Beezus.
I did say there were 2 potential hubbies,
but only shared one.
Thought I'd share the other, today.


Yup,
John Corbett!
I love how he's always the boy next door.
He was Carrie's love on Sex and the City,
and as much as I love Carrie and Big,
I was sad to see Aiden go.


Oh, and how can you not love him in
My Big Fat Greek Wedding?


Even in Serendipity,
where he was some new aged
musical guru,
he was still loveable.


Ah yes.
John is the sweet boy next door.
He's one to bring home.
He's the down-to-earth kind of guy.







Saturday, January 14, 2012

Celebrity Husband

It's raining today. 
So Ethan and I are curled up on the couch watching Ramona and Beezus. 
I loved reading this series by Beverly Clearly.
 And since Ethan is in love with Selena Gomez,
 he's loving it too.

While watching the movie, 
I found 2 new celebrity husbands.

Here's one

Yes, Josh Duhamel!
He plays Hobart.

You probably know him better like this:


He's apparently got some Canadian in him.

I use to love watching him in Las Vegas.
Wouldn't he make a great celebrity husband?
(Yes I know he is a real life husband,
but not mine! lol!)




Friday, January 13, 2012

Five Question Friday

I can't believe school starts on Tuesday! 
I am so not ready.
My mum and dad came this week to visit.
My little (well, she's 11 so I guess not so little) cousin came too.
With the arrival of his grandmother,
Ethan has forgotten that he is an independent 5.5 year old,
and seems to think he can't do anything and his grandmother is there to assist.

Since we got back last Friday,
I didn't have the chance to participate,
but (drum roll please...)





1. What's the last thing you bought for yourself?
Hmmm... I'm not quite sure.....
When we left Cape Town, 
our luggage was a little heavy.
Scott would tell anyone that's listening
"My wife likes to shop!"
Oh please!!!!
Who bought 8 bottles of wine?
Who bought 2 statue-like figurines?
Not me,
that's who!!!!

But of all my purchases this Christmas,
my favourite is my new boots.


2. What is your favourite meal on a cold winter's day?
This would be easier to answer if I went home this Christmas.
I could then tell you what I liked the most.
But as it's summer here,
I have no clue what my favourite cold winter's day meal is.
Although I'm thinking some soup would be lovely.



3. Have you started looking at swimsuits for this year, and do you buy a new one every year?
Not yet,
but thanks for reminding me.
I should start looking.
I bought a new one last year,
but not the year before.
Chances are,
I will buy another one this year.
While I'd love a bikini like this


this is probably more realistic for my body.




4. If you could be any candy what would you be and why?
When I first read this,
I misread it and thought it was what candy
I would want.
When I saw my err,
I decided I should stick with it.
And that would be a Reese Peanut Butter Cup.
Why you ask?
Because I'd love one right now.
(Can't get them here)



5. What are you most passionate about?
The obvious answer is my family.
I adore Scott and Ethan.
What's not to love?


But if we take away the seriousness of the question,
and think of something fun,
then I'm most definitely passionate about...
my lattes!!!!









Tuesday, January 10, 2012

52 Weeks of Happiness - Week 45

Back in April
when Scott told me about the job offer
and the move to Zambia,
he also told me we wouldn't be able to go home for Christmas.

I was not happy.

He said we could go somewhere instead. 
Possibly Cape Town.

That didn't cheer me up either.

Then my mate, Louise, said her family would be in Cape Town for Christmas
and, well,
it started looking great.

We had a fabulous time in Cape Town.

We went to the Aquarium,


saw some cheetahs,

got a history lesson,

saw some penguins,

and got breath taking views from Table Mountain.


But the best part
of our vacation,
was Ethan being reunited with his mate.



Happiness is spending time with your mates.





Monday, January 9, 2012

Kiss of Frost - Jennifer Estep


It's a new year.
Time to start a new reading challenge.
I enjoyed writing about the books I read last year,
so thought I'd continue it again this year.

I started my year off with book 2 of
Mythos Academy.

Kiss of Frost throws us back to Mythos Academy
where Gwen continues to be a terrible warrior.
She trains every morning with Logan Quinn,
the boy who broke her heart. 
She hasn't made any progress as 
Nike's champion,
but has stayed alive, 
so that's good, right!

Gwen learns more about her magic here. She can tune into the memories of others and use their strength as hers. 
There's also the Winter Carnival.
Gwen, still pining over Logan
meets Preston, 
and hopes he's the one to help her forget Logan.
But there are Reapers after her.
They want her gone.
So of course,
this isn't the easiest way to hook up with a guy.
Plus Logan gets jealous.
(YES!)

I'm really enjoying this series. 
Gwen isn't a hero that's waiting for a guy to save her.
Despite the fact that Logan comes to her rescue often.
She's determined to face her fears,
and do things on her own.

Can't wait for the next one.