We survived the first 6 months and 2 school terms. Today we celebrate the end of school! Bring on summer. The children have been in school since last August. This has been a very long school year for all of us!
Here they are saying goodbye to the backpacks and hello to the shorts. 2 short weeks and we get to visit home.
As for the 6 month mark: there were days that I wondered if we would make it. I didn't think we would make it this far, yet here we are. What I have noticed is the tears are fewer, the days are brighter, life is starting to feel a bit more normal. Do we still miss Texas? Absolutely. I know the children and I would get on a plane tomorrow and move back, however, we are settling in. The kids all have at least one friend here. I no longer cry about going to the grocery store - I have discovered the beauty of Ocado, groceries delivered straight to my door (thank you Assia). We have made some great expat friends - Assia and Alain, Kristen and Andrew, Ellen and Ronald. Game nights have been fun, lunches and some talk of an Expat Christmas trip. Somehow I have been designated the local trip planner. We are finding our connect group at church to be a good source of encouragement as well. Now to find some things to occupy my days - otherwise we'll go broke from the trips I plan and marathons I will run.
I was encouraged to list 10 good things about living here. I am not to 10 yet, but here is what I have:
1. the TRAVEL! Wow, in 6 months, I have ticked off most of my bucket list places and have the last 2 already scheduled. Time for a new list I guess; I'm not ready to kick it yet.
2. the CHOCOLATE. Goal is every country is to try the local cuisine and the chocolate. The chocolate has been amazing. So far, Belgium wins hands down. I need to run more as my waist can not hold up with the chocolate we are bringing back.
3. Not packing school lunches. A hot meal is provided every day at school for the kids. This may be close to #1 on the list. The kids even said the food is good. I am thankful that I don't have to make a lunch for the foreseeable future.
4. Welcoming church friends
5. A unique school experience for the kids. Where else do you get to study about the Iron Age and then go see it first hand? The number of field trips has been amazing. There is history here that we do not have in the states.
6. This year the summer weather has been stupendous for England. It's had some legitimately hot days, but overall we have had pleasant sunny days. Apparently this is not normal. It hasn't been dreary and raining which is typical of this time of year.
7. Assia - she has become a great friend and the Chamberlains have really helped with our transition here. We have enjoyed their friendship and many family outings and dinner.
That's all I've got. Time to gear up for some summer fun....the Riviera, Texas and Paris (see above list #1)